So today was a banner day. Here I was teaching in my 3rd period class, and visitors arrive at my door. Now, Iw as expecting Mr. H., an Assistant Principal who said yesterday that he wanted to visit my class for an observation. That was fine, of course, so I whipped up something special, as usual, for my 9th graders, and he arrives. But not by myself, but with two other gentlemen and Mr. T., our principal. Mr. H. said there were some people who wanted to meet me, and everyone streamed into my room. The two gentlemen wore WalMart ID badges and had a large rectangular posterboard in their hand. I thought they were going to come and announce some job opportunities for the impending summer vacation. Until they announced that I was, in fact, a recipient of a local Walmart Teacher of the Year Award from their Roxboro Road store.
Go to page 54 of this *.pdf file to see my name listed there.
Now, I was pleased by this recognition, what teacher wouldn't be. I set aside my personal feelings about the Walmart experience, something I do not regularly indulge in, and accepted the award graciously. I thought briefly: now, did I share my views on Walmart with this group of kids, like I have with other groups in the past, the big mouth that I can be? I was hoping that no cheeky student of mine would blurt out something like, "Hey, Mr. Kandah, I thought you don't like Walmart?" in front of the Walmart reps and my principals. Walmart supports education, and I applaud that. With the profits they rake in every year they can afford to support local education, and that's fantastic corporate citizenship.
So apparently, there were a few recommendations made on my behalf at this Walmart, enough for them to take notice and sport me a $100 Walmart gift card and a $1000 check to the school. But I don't even shop at Walmart! I will now; I'll get school supplies for student projects. My next step: make sure the $1000 check is spent on Foreign Language supplies!
Thank you Walmart, and those parents and students who nominated me. It is great to make an impact on America's youth.